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Former LBSU water polo coach Ken Lindgren dies


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Long Beach State water polo icon Ken Lindgren, who was the 49ers’ men’s water polo coach from 1975 to 1998, died Friday of a heart attack, according to LBSU Athletics.

Lindgren played at The Beach in 1959 before starting a lengthy coaching career that included numerous stints with Team USA. He won Olympic gold medals with both the men’s and women’s water polo teams and remains the only coach to have accomplished the feat.

Lindgren was honored for his efforts with an induction into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1993. He joined the LBSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.

“He was a Long Beach icon,” current LBSU water polo head coach Gavin Arroyo told LBSU Athletics. “Aside from defining Long Beach water polo, he was a tremendous mentor to so many. He will be greatly missed.”

During his career at LBSU, Lindgren compiled a 335-338-3 record and led the 49ers to seven NCAA tournament appearances. Of the players he coached, 34 were named to All-American teams and eight became Olympians.

Lindgren was an assistant coach for the men’s national team in 1980 and 1984. After the United States boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Lindgren won a silver medal with the team at the Los Angeles games in 1984.

He also helped lead the women’s water polo national team to a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney games as an assistant coach.

Lindgren found time to teach in the classroom as well, as he was a math teacher for more than 30 years.

Details on funeral services are not yet available, and Lindgren’s age could not be confirmed.

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